Behavior of New Zealand ironsand during iron ore sintering
A New Zealand ironsand sample was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, qualitative and quantitative X-ray diffraction, and electron probe microanalysis. The titanomagnetite-rich ironsand was added into an industrial sinter blend in the proportion of 5 wt pct, and the mixture was uniaxially pressed into cylindrical tablets and sintered in a tube furnace under flowing gas with various oxygen potentials and temperatures to develop knowledge and understanding of the behavior of titanium during sintering. An industrial sinter with the addition of 3 wt pct ironsand was also examined. Both the laboratory and industrial sinters were characterized by optical and SEM. Various morphologies of relict ironsand particles were present in the industrial sinter due to the heterogeneity of sintering conditions, which could be well simulated by the bench-scale sintering experiments. The assimilation of ironsand during sintering in a reducing atmosphere started with the diffusion of calcium into the lattice of the ironsand matrix, and a reaction zone was formed near the boundary within individual ironsand particles where a perovskite phase was generated. With increasing sintering temperature, in a reducing atmosphere, ironsand particles underwent further assimilation and most of the titanium moved from the ironsand particles into a glass phase. In comparison, more titanium remained in the original ironsand particles when sintered in air. Ironsand particles are more resistant to assimilation in an oxidizing atmosphere.